Want to have people asking you how you have such smooth, clear, healthy looking skin? Well then, the answer lies in two important factors. One is what you put into your body and the other is how you look after your skin; even though there are environmental factors that will influence it as well. Eating a balanced diet is an essential prescription for healthy, beautiful, plump dewy skin and the good news is that the food you feed your body will not only show on your skin but do your body and health a favor as well.
Don’t look older than you actually are
If your skin doesn’t look good; it’s got a lot of wrinkles from the sun; perhaps it has thickened due to smoking and drinking too much alcohol, or it is discolored and droops from losing elasticity – there is no doubt that these factors are a huge beauty problem in what is a multi-million dollar industry. The condition of your skin can either age you by 20 years or make you look younger by 20 years – the skin is the canvas on which the artist performs his magic!
Genetics plays a huge factor in your skin as well, and it is genetics that will determine when your skin does start aging, let alone the environmental damage and also your lifestyle choices – all these just accelerate the process. But along the way, you have the opportunity to pamper your skin, to feed it, to nourish it, so that you keep people guessing about your true age because of the condition of the canvas that you are writing your life on.
How does skin damage occur?
Skin damage occurs because of oxidation, a chemical process where unstable molecules which are called free radicals steal electrons from healthy cells. Stressors that cause this oxidation are what we mentioned above; sunlight and smoking, amongst others. Sunlight and smoking truly play havoc with your skin, apart from bad eating habits. Do yourself a favor and don’t smoke and use plenty of sunscreen when you are out in the sun.
Reasons why your skin could be looking dull
- You could be dehydrated – and that means your skin will be too. When you are dehydrated, the volume of blood flowing to the skin decreases – then you tend to look pale and sickly. You might think that downing a glass of water will fix the problem, but that’s just a short-term solution. Dermatologist, Dr. J. Prystowsky, says skin dehydration is a long-term problem. When you fail to give your skin the hydration it needs, fine lines, sagging skin, scaly skin and deeper wrinkles can occur, particularly when dehydration is severe. Try and aim to drink the proverbial 8 glass of water a day – it’s for real.
- Do you exfoliate your skin? Of course, you wash your face every day, even twice a day, you say. And that’s good, but you might not know that it’s also important to exfoliate. Exfoliation creates a clean fresh skin which allows your moisturizing cream to penetrate the skin better. Exfoliation removes the outer layers of skin which are dead cells, exposing fresh, new, clearer skin, which glows from new revitalization. Actually, the skin is composed of four layers which are constantly being renewed. The surface layer (epidermis) flakes off and depends on the layers that are underneath for its constant renewal. That is why it is important to use a bit of exfoliation when bathing so that the dead flaking cells are thoroughly removed, allowing the tissues underneath to breathe. Use cosmetics sparingly, taking care never to apply fresh make-up over the stale. If the rule of cleanliness is not followed, there is trouble in the form of clogged pores and rough, creped skin that cannot breathe.
- Not remembering to moisturize regularly? A dull complexion is one that is calling out for moisture. See also dehydration above. Dermatologist, Dr. Kenneth Howe, says that just general daily life and environmental stress can create cracks in the skin’s surface, making it dull. Use a good moisturizer with ceramides which help to repair the skin barrier. Apply your moisturizer in gentle, upward strokes. This will boost the blood circulation and stimulate the cells around your face and neck, bringing oxygen to the surface of your skin, and making it look nourished and healthy.
- Avoid being super-stressed: Stress plays a huge role in the beauty of your skin or the lack thereof. Stress causes an increase in cortisol in the body, affecting the way your skin repairs itself.
Whatever stressful thing you are holding on to could be keeping your skin from becoming lustrous. When you take on a positive attitude, you actually slow down the aging process. Those women who look 10 years younger than their actual age are those who are calm and relaxed, who think positively. Try and learn strategies that calm your mind – this helps to improve your complexion.
- Not getting your 40 winks? When you are worried and anxious and lie in bed at night and you have run out of the sheep to count, you can be sure that your skin suffers.
Sleep is the time that the body restores itself; when the skin cells repair themselves and regenerate. If your sleep is altered or shortened, the skin cells cannot perform at their very best. Aim to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep to help you and your skin look and feel your best.
- The environment is affecting your skin: The environment could be dulling your skin with air pollutants. Changing temperatures, harsh winds, icy cold or humid heat, all these can play havoc on your skin. Your skin breathes, drawing in oxygen and exhaling impurities. Were it not for the amazing arrangements of removing all poisons from the body, the blood would become so polluted it would no longer be able to support life. Unless is your skin is properly bathed and cared for, impurities deposited on its surface through the environment and perspiration etc. accumulate and the waste may be reabsorbed into your body, and cause the system to become toxic. If you do happen to live in areas where there is a high concentration of smog or pollution, try and counteract the effects by doing plenty of exercise, because this enhances circulation to the skin and removes the toxin from your skin cells.
- Smoking sucks: Smoking can be seriously harmful to your skin, short term and long term. Smoking cigarettes causes collagen to break down making the skin sallow, weak and wrinkled over time. Not only will your skin thank you when you stop smoking, but nature will as well.
Go slow on the matte makeup: Even if you have oily skin, avoid matte-clogging cosmetics. If you want a natural solution for oily skin that also does wonders if you are pale with dull skin, parsley tea will do the trick.
How to make parsley tea: Just fill a small saucepan with water (filtered) and bring to the boil. Chop up some parsley and add a handful of it in a cup or a teapot, pouring the boiling water over it, and allowing steeping for about 5 minutes. Simply add a couple of drops of lemon juice. Be prepared to feel energized, boosting the digestive system and making your skin brighter and clearer, flushing out toxins from the body.
Don’t only eat food for good skin, apply it to your skin too
Here is something for blackheads, blemishes and enlarged pores: (once a week)
Remove the yok from a raw egg and beat the egg-white until stiff, then mix this with one teaspoonful of honey. Smooth mixture over the face with a piece of cotton or with your fingers. Leaves on for 15 minutes then rinse with warm water followed by cool water. Blot the face dry.
Top natural ways of improving your skin, starting today!
There are a couple of other things you can do to keep your skin looking good. Let’s look-see:
A diet rich in antioxidants is a top priority. Why so? Because they repair your body cells which get damaged by free radicals. The top antioxidants to include in your diet are vitamins A, C, and E. Selenium, beta-carotene, and lycopene are the other top antioxidants. You will find antioxidants mainly in teas, fruits, and vegetables.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C produces collagen (this is what keeps your skin firm), protecting cells from getting damaged by the free radicals. It is important to replenish your vitamin C stores each and every day by getting in fruit and vegetables that contain these all-important vitamins. Bell peppers, broccoli, mangoes, cantaloupe, mangoes, oranges, strawberries, pineapple, snow peas, tomatoes, and watermelon – all offer good doses of vitamin C.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is the vitamin to protect your cell membranes, protecting your skin from the UV rays of the sun. Vitamin E and C work hand in hand to provide that extra anti-aging skin protection. But try and get your vitamin E from food rather than in capsule form. Wheat germ, whole grain cereals, nuts, olive oil, spinach, Swiss chard, seeds, and spinach are all good examples of vitamin E.
Beta-carotene is another antioxidant that’s critical for vital skin. It gets converted to vitamin A in the body, and is also responsible for the growth and repair of body tissues. It is known to also protect the skin against sun damage. Pure vitamin A in high doses can be toxic to your body, so avoid it in such high amounts unless your doctor has recommended it. Beta-carotene comes in the form of apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, red bell peppers, mangoes, pumpkin, and sweet potato; all the orangey colored foods, and all are safe for your skin.
These are the key micronutrients which your body needs to protect your immune system. Phytochemicals are found in foods like veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, herbs, and spices. Phytochemicals are what gives plants their coloring, flavor and aroma. When we eat foods with phytochemicals, they work with other phytochemicals, of which there are hundreds, to fend off cancer, heart disease, age-related eye disease and much more.
Omega–3 Fatty Acids
Even though omega-3 is not classified as an antioxidant, these fatty acids help to maintain the cell membranes, making them effective barriers to toxins coming in. Omega-3 healthy fats also play a big role in reducing inflammation throughout the body, offering skin protection against sun damage. Studies reveal that people who eat a lot of omega-3 fatty acids lowered their risk of skin cancer. Wild salmon, mackerel (but not king mackerel), sardines, flaxseed, anchovies, walnuts, and soybeans supply these valuable fatty acids.
The top mineral for magnificent skin is selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant mineral which does an excellent job of protecting the skin from sun damage; helping to keep the skin firm and retain its elasticity. Selenium is also known to prevent some skin cancers. Studies have found that people with a high risk of no melanoma skin cancer and who took selenium supplements improved their chances greatly of avoiding melanoma. The best food sources for selenium are Brazil nuts, tuna, oysters, crab, whole-wheat pasta, shrimp, lean beef, whole-wheat bread, wheat germ, turkey, chicken breast, mushrooms, and eggs. Other top minerals to add to your skin-diet are:
- Zinc – particularly good for acne.
- Copper – promotes the production of collagen and elastin.
- Magnesium – a deficiency can promote aging of the skin.
- Calcium – plays a major role in the firmness and elasticity of the skin.
- Potassium – a lack of this mineral can cause the skin to become dry.
- Silica – strengthens the body’s connective tissues – without silica, the skin can lose its elasticity.
Try this smoothie for a beautiful skin
Drink this delicious smoothie every now and then for a big blast of complexion-friendly nutrients – vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fats. It serves 2.
- 2 Oranges, cold, peeled and sliced into portions.
- Half chopped mango, chilled.
- ½-cup slice dup frozen strawberries, unsweetened.
- 1 medium carrot – peeled and shredded.
- ½-cup plain yogurt, chilled (non-fat).
- 2 Tablespoons wheat-germ.
- 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed.
- 1 Tablespoon fresh juice of a lemon.
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar.
- Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Packed with all the necessary nutrients.
Now let’s look at the top foods that will brighten, plump up and tone your skin to put your most glowing self forward
Walnuts are full of very healthy fats that will help to make your skin look hydrated and plump.
There is plenty of silica in the English cucumber. It is an essential component in the body, promoting and maintaining healthy skin tissue. Not only that, it heals burns and wounds and even stimulates the rapid re-growth of damaged skin tissue. It attracts water to your cells.
This is sheer brain food, is wild salmon, packed with rich omega-3. What omega-3 does is keep your brain running at its peak, helping you to focus all day long. While it’s doing that, it’s also fighting inflammation and combatting stress which often leads to skin flare-ups. It keeps the skin glowing and healthy.
Raw sauerkraut is ideal for gut-healing, because it’s so full of probiotics, balancing the bacteria in the gut and thereby boosting the immune system. It keeps the skin clear because, in times of stress, the skin often responds negatively.
Pumpkin seeds are also known as pepitas. They are typically hulled, roasted and eaten as a snack or used in cooking. They are filled with magnesium which is the anti-stress mineral.
This isn’t the hot chocky-drink you like to drink late at night with sugar and milk added. This is cacao, the real organic dark chocolate which is truly healthful, fighting free radicals and keeping your skin healthy with all its flavones and antioxidants.
You can’t eat other beautiful skin-boosting foods without including bone broth. Put it like this, bone broth does for your skin what an expensive pair of jeans does – it molds your skin, perfecting it and lifting everything up in all the right places! It’s because it contains collagen which as we know, is one of the most top nutrients to take care of skin and keep it beautiful. In fact, collagen is the most abundant protein in the body – it is found in the bones, skin, muscles, and tendons. Collagen is the substance that holds the body together. Collagen in the body is what gives your skin its elasticity, and as you age, the collagen just gets less and your skin loses its elasticity, becomes thinner and then forms wrinkles. Makes sense that if you want to plump up your skin and get rid of wrinkles you need to boost your collagen levels. Bone broth is healing, fighting inflammation and continuing proteins and collagen. Included in the link is a natural healthy recipe to make bone broth – if you want glowing skin.
Avocado is simply rich in fatty acids, excellent for moisturizing the skin. Not only does avocado contain vitamin E in it, but it also contains important potassium, lecithin, and many other nutrients that moisturize and nourish the skin.
Feed with skin with this avocado mask for glowing skin!
Take one ripe avocado and remove the skin and seed, mashing it up into a creamy pulp in a bow. Add one tablespoon of organic honey, mixing it into the avocado mixture to form a creamy paste. Apply to your skin, leaving on for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse the mixture off with lukewarm water, and pat dry with a soft towel.
It’s true; you ‘look’ what you eat
Luminous, dewy skin has been the desire of women through the ages. Why, even the queen in Snow White envied Snow White’s beautiful skin so much she flew into a rage when someone more beautiful than her was found to be alive! And we all know that it isn’t easy to maintain such radiant skin; it requires hard work. If the inner processes are not working efficiently, you can be sure your skin will be the first place where the inner turmoil in your body is revealed – it can be in the form of pimples, dryness, rashes, paleness, tiredness – even fine wrinkles might start appearing. It’s not all doom and gloom though – there is good news – you can get back your healthy glow. If you feel you have lost your glow and you are painting a dull picture, it might be time to break some habits and prepare to shine again – just always remember that what you put in what you get out. It’s time to ditch all those foods that deplete your mineral stores like sugar, alcohol, processed foods and trans-fats. Listen to Hippocrates, the father of medicine. He was spot on when he said our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.